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COVID-19 picture in El Paso continues significant improvement

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El Paso continues its encouraging COVID-19 trends, with new cases, hospitalizations and deaths all in decline.

On Saturday, El Paso reported 88 new COVID-19 infections, the first time we’ve been below 100 new daily cases since mid-September. (I always urge caution against reading too much into daily case totals, because lower counts could also reflect lower testing numbers in the two or three prior days. But if we see more days this coming week with fewer than 100 new cases, it will be a very positive development.)

In another significant development, the number of El Pasoans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has surpssed the number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past year.

Here’s our weekly COVID-19 data report. 

New cases

El Paso reported 980 new COVID-19 cases this past week, the first time our weekly count has been below 1,000 since Labor Day. The weekly number likely will edge up over 1,000 as more tests are reported from private labs in the coming days, but we’re seeing consistent declines in new cases each week.

Hospital trends

The number of COVID-19 cases requiring treatment in hospitals and intensive care units continues to fall, which tracks with the infection trend. 

The number of El Pasoans being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 is at its lowest levels since early October. The numbers requiring ICU treatment haven’t been this low since the end of September.

Deaths

The number of El Pasoans dying of COVID-19 is at the lowest weekly levels since mid-October, in the early days of our fall eruption. Still, we continue to lose a neighbor to the coronavirus once every eight hours.

Vaccinations

About 132,000 El Pasoans had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Saturday, more than one in every five people over the age of 16.

By contrast, just over 129,000 El Pasoans had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday. (The actual number of people infected by the virus is far higher, because many asymptomatic people never got tested.)

More than 230,000 El Pasoans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, more than one over every three residents over the age of 16.

Among El Pasoans over 65, just over 50,000 are fully vaccinated. That’s just under half our senior citizen population.

Starting Monday, every Texan is eligible to receive the vaccine.

El Paso will receive just over 18,000 first doses of vaccine from the state this week, in line with what we have been receiving each week in March.

Cover photo: A woman who lives in rural Northwest El Paso County receives a COVID-19 vaccine at The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus. (Photo courtesy of The Hospitals of Providence)

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Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on border issues by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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